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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

352                                       ETYMOLOGY OF LOCAL NAMES.
stated in the earlier part of this chapter) might be at once set down as equi-
valent to Lodha-pnri; but here, too, the caste of the residents forbids such a
derivation, for they have always been not Lodhas, but J&dons ; and the modera
name is a perversion of Lalita-puri. Phalen again and Siyara would be in-
explicable but for the knowledge that they are built, the one on the margin of
a pond, called Frahlad kund, and the other by the Chir Ghat, a very ancient
and now comparatively neglected tiratfa on the Jamuna. The confusion
between the letters 3 and ch is one of the peculiarities of the local dialect. Thus
Amar Sinn'is frequently called Amarchn ; the village of Parsua, in the months
of the villagers on the spot, is indistinguishable from Pilchaa; Chakri, after
becoming Saki, gives a name to Sakitra, where is an undent shrine of Chak-
resvar ; and so too Chira-hara becomes Siyara.*
Although it may safely be laid down as a general principle of Indian
toponymy that the majority of names are capable of being traced up to Aryan
roots, it is possible that the rule may have some exceptions. In the Mathura
and Mainpuri districts there is a current tradition that the older occupants of
the country were a people called Kalars. The name seems to support a theory
advanced by Dr. Hunter in his Dissertation, where he quotes a statement from
some Number of the Asiatic Society's Journal to the effect that the whole of
India was once called Kolaria. On the strength of a number of names which
he sees in the modern map, he concludes that the race, from whom that name
was derived, once spread over every province from Burma to Malabar. He
finds indications of their existence in the Kols of Central India; the Kolas of
Katwar; the Kolis of Gujarat; the Kolitas of Asam ; the Kalars, a robber
caste in the Tamil country; the Kalars of Tinnevelly, and the Kolis of
Bombay, &c., &c. Upon most of these names, as I have no knowledge of the
localities where they exist, I decline to offer any opinion whatever, and can
only express my regret that Dr. Hunter has not exercised a little similar
caution. For he proceeds to give a list of town-names, scattered as lie says
over the whole length and breadth of India, which seems to me of the very
slightest -value as a confirmation of his theory. JSTo one should be better
conversant than himself with the vagaries of phonetic spelling ; and yet he
gravely adduces as proof of the existence of a Kol race such names as Kulian-
pur and Kullian ; though it is scarcely possible but that, if correctly spelt, they
* C&tVa ia itself a contraction for chivxra, which shows that the elision of a simple conso-
nant, which became the xule in Prakrit, was occasional also in pure Sanskrit. Similarly the
Sanskrit word ryo,  seed/ which lexicographers derive from the root jan with the preta wi, is,
I conceire, simply a colloquial form of wrya, with which it is identical in meaning.